What will I learn?

The Doctor of Nursing is a professional research degree, designed for experienced, registered nurses who are seeking to extend their professional development and in particular, their research skills and capabilities. Like the PhD, a professional doctorate requires the student to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge through research. The Doctor of Nursing comprises three years of research for a full-time candidate or the equivalent in half-time candidature. Students conduct a program of three separate research projects, related in terms of the area of interest and presented as a thesis in the form of a research portfolio.

As one of the most highly research-intensive and respected universities in Australia and a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, The University of Adelaide is the smart choice for your research program. The University is committed to providing unique opportunities for graduates and researchers who are recognised as worldwide leaders for their vision and capacity to address global research challenges.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.

Deep discipline knowledge
Critical thinking and problem solving
Teamwork and communication skills
Career and leadership readiness
Intercultural and ethical competency
Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Potential careers

Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Researcher, Research Manager

Degree Structure

At The University of Adelaide the DNurs is classified as a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and provides nurses with a broad research preparation designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills required for utilising, undertaking and facilitating research in their practice and professional contexts.

Students conduct a program of three separate research projects, related in terms of the area of interest and presented as completed research reports. The first research project will be a systematic review of the literature in their area of interest and there will be two further studies conducted using different research methodologies.

The doctoral thesis submitted for examination is in the form of a research portfolio of approximately 70,000 words in total. The thesis comprises:

Section 1 Introduction
Section 2 Research project 1 - Systematic review
Section 3 Research project 2 - e.g. Empirical study
Section 4 Research project 3 - e.g. Interpretive/critical study
Section 5 Conclusion
Publications (does not contribute to the overall word count).

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences



Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
A$40,500.00 (US$ 27,123) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

27 July 2020, 1 March 2021


The University of Adelaide (UoA)

North Terrace Campus,


South Australia,

5005, ADELAIDE, Australia

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To meet the academic standing required for admission to a Doctor of Philosophy, you should have completed one of the following: A relevant University of Adelaide Honours degree of Bachelor (or equivalent) with at least a second class Honours (upper division), which includes an appropriate research component. A relevant Master by Coursework degree of the University of Adelaide (or equivalent) containing a minimum of 12 credit points by research, with an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.0 or higher and a GPA of 6.0 or higher in the Research Component. A relevant University of Adelaide Research Master degree (or equivalent). IELTS (Academic) Overall score of 6.5 and Minimum band scores 6.5 in Writing; 6.5 in Speaking; 6.0 in Listening; 6.0 in Reading; TOEFL Internet-based total score of 79 and Individual scores 24 in Writing; 22 in Speaking; 13 in Listening; 13 in Reading. PTE (Academic) Overall score of 58 and Skills profile 50 in Writing; 50 in Speaking; 50 in Listening; 50 in Reading. CAE Overall score 176 and Individual scores 169 in Writing; 169 in Speaking; 169 in Listening; 169 in Reading.

For international students

Relevant Bachelor’s degree with at least a second class honours (upper division) or a relevant master’s degree that contains a significant research component (normally at least 15 University of Adelaide credit points of research or equivalent.

IELTS: Overall band score of 6.5 AND Minimum band scores 6.5 in Writing and Speaking AND 6.0 in Listening and Reading; TOEFL minimum score: Paper-based – total score of 575 with 4.5 in the TWE (Test of Written English) OR Internet-based – total score of 79 with 24 in Writing AND 22 in Speaking AND 13 in Listening and Reading; Pearson Test of English (Academic) Minimum scores: Overall score of 65 AND Skills profile 65 in Writing and Speaking AND 58 in Listening and Reading; CAE Minimum scores: Overall score 176 AND Individual scores 176 in Writing and Speaking AND 169 in Listening and Reading.

Application deadline - Coursework program commencing in Semester 1: 1 December.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About this uni

The University of Adelaide works alongside governments, businesses, and other universities across Asia, Europe and North America.

  • Based in South Australia.
  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world.
  • Member of Australia’s research-intensive Group of Eight.
  • Top 10 world’s most liveable city (The Economist)